Formula One

F1 McLaren 2023 Mid-Season Results and Analysis

The McLaren F1 Team entered the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship with high hopes and ambitions but instantly found themselves to be at the back of the pack. McLaren were able to fight their way up from a woeful start to the season; and are now one of the teams competing for podiums and maybe a surprise win. Here’s a detailed overview of McLaren’s 2023 season:

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© Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images – Photo by Icon sport

How did the Drivers Fare?

Lando Norris (Car #4): Lando Norris cemented his place as the team’s lead driver for the 2023 season after Daniel Ricciardo. Norris made a name for himself with his consistent performances and impressive pace in the previous seasons, and he is expected to lead the team’s charge and deliver strong results.

Oscar Piastri (Car #81): Making his Formula One debut, Australian Oscar Piastri joined McLaren for the 2023 season, replacing the highly regarded Daniel Ricciardo after a slew of bad performances. As the reigning F2 champion, Piastri brought a fresh perspective and talent to the team.

Some Performance Highlights

McLaren showcased consistent performance in more recent races, with both drivers regularly finishing in the points after a remarkably underwhelming start to the season. The team was able to bring in upgrades that suited the drivers and propelled the team upward. Lando Norris managed to secure two back-to-back podium finishes in Silverstone and the Hungaroring, further proving his ability to be a world championship contender in a better car. His experience played a crucial role in guiding the team’s development.

Despite being a rookie, Oscar Piastri adapted quickly to the high demands of F1. He demonstrated strong racecraft to score points in his debut season, contributing to the team’s points tally with a strong fourth-place finish in Silverstone and a second-place sprint race in Spa. Lando Norris is ahead of Oscar Piastri in the Driver’s Championship for now and that is no surprise. He was expected to beat his rookie teammate. Oscar Piastri has been slowly reducing the deficit to his teammate and at this rate he might as well match the talented Brit come the end of the season. The future prospects look bright for both the drivers – provided McLaren are able to keep them.

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Oscar Piastri  © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images – Photo by Icon sport

McLaren’s Challenges

The 2023 F1 season featured intense competition among the midfield teams. McLaren faced tough competition from established teams like Ferrari and Mercedes, as well as Alpine and Aston Martin, at the beginning of the season. There was a fear of falling behind due to not being able to spend as much as the other teams despite the enforced budget cap but the team were able to do the needful and turn their season around.

Keeping up with the rapid pace of development in F1 was always a challenge for McLaren, who were always playing catch-up for the first few races of the season. McLaren were able to catch up to Ferrari in terms of development with the upgrade packages they brought in and have even been able to bring the fight to engine suppliers, Mercedes, on a few rare occasions. Will being a Mercedes customer team come back to bite McLaren? It is hard to tell.

Norris’s name is always caught up in the F1 silly season; there were rumors of teams circling the talented Brit at the beginning of the season when he seemed unsatisfied with the car, and they still persist when he’s standing on podiums. McLaren would lose out heavily if Lando left them for some other team; they would need to find a high-quality driver and also somehow try to compensate for the Lando fanbase, which will follow the superstar to whichever team he decides to go to. Despite being contracted to McLaren until the end of the 2025 F1 season, he continues to woe Red Bull, who are unsure of who to pair with the all-conquering Max Verstappen.

Team Spirit and Dynamics

The synergy between drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, as well as the collaboration between the drivers and the team’s technical staff, played a crucial role in the team’s performance improvements. Oscar Piastri has a lot more to learn from Lando, and he will have plenty of opportunities to battle with his teammate.

McLaren’s commitment to fostering a motivated and supportive environment contributed to the drivers’ confidence and the team’s overall morale. The upgrade package has certainly brought with it a change of mood in the camp, in a good way.

Rule Changes and Adaptations

McLaren has showcased impressive performance during sprint weekends and demonstrated adaptability when Pirelli introduced defined tire sets for qualifying. The team’s strategic acumen was evident as they maximized their starting positions in the main race, leveraging the sprint events to accumulate valuable points. Oscar Piastri achieved a notable milestone with his maiden podium finish at .

In the context of technical regulation changes aimed at enhancing on-track action and safety, McLaren successfully navigated the adjustments required in car design and setup. This achievement was a result of seamless collaboration and communication between the team’s technical experts and the drivers, underscoring their collective determination to excel in a changing competitive landscape.


The McLaren 2023 F1 season was marked by a good recovery from an appalling pre-season and an even more underwhelming start to the season. Their expensive bet on buying Daniel Ricciardo out of his contract and replacing him with the services of 2021 F2 winner Oscar Piastri definitely paid off. The Australian rookie has been able to adapt to the car rather quickly and has been touted as one for the future. Lando Norris has emerged as a very worthy team leader and was quick to secure a couple of podium finishes when the car was finally competitive. The team has made significant strides in the positive direction and would be sad to not continue their red-hot form and instead wait three agonizing weeks for the F1 circus to meet again at Zandvoort.

McLaren are using the potent Mercedes power unit, second only to Red Bull’s Powertrains this season, and could battle fellow midfield teams for 3rd place in the Constructors Championship if their current development pace persists. McLaren will be a formidable team to go up against in the second half of the F1 circus.

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